Saints full back Lachlan Coote, who is already receiving rave notices for his performance in the Betfred Super League, has blasted the North Queensland Cowboys for the way his career in Townsville ended. forcing him to move to England.
Coote fell out of favour with coach Paul Green and wasn’t offered a new deal for 2019, which saw him link up with St Helens in the Super League.
However, the Cowboys have struggled to find a full back this season in the wake of Ben Barba’s contract termination and received little sympathy from the 29-year-old Coote during an interview with British magazine Rugby League World.
The Scotland international said:”I was trying to hang onto that NRL career. Why wouldn’t you?”
He went on: “I’ve got a family over there with two young kids. I’ve already moved away from my mum and dad once and didn’t want to have to do it again, especially out of the country and to the other side of the world.”
Coote played 83 games for the Cowboys from 2015 to 2018, winning a premiership in first season at the club.
The veteran of 166 NRL games for the Panthers and Cowboys was desperate to continue his career in Australia to be closer to his family.
''At the end of last year I was seriously contemplating just going to a Q Cup team and playing out whatever footy I had left in me,” Coote said.
“I was pretty disappointed with how things ended at the Cowboys. In another sense, it happens all the time to players. I’ve seen it happen to other players before me, it was just my turn I guess.”
However, Coote believes the Cowboys could have handled his exit better by communicating more from their end.
The Cowboys have struggled to replace him since Barba’s axing.
“The way they approached it was poor, I guess, and it could have been handled better,” he said.
''For a coach to just lose respect for someone for no reason, that’s what I didn’t understand. That was pretty disappointing to see.
“It just wasn’t being up front with things. It felt like from the start of the season, going to a grand final, there wasn’t much chat from the coach.
“When I did get injured at the start of the season, there was no chat there. You’d think when your first string full back goes down, there’d be chat there.
“But I don’t want to come across as I’m whining about things and stuff like that. I’ve been around a long time and that’s how things are.”
It doesn't, however, seem to have affected his displays in the famous red vee shirt, scoring six tries and landing 54 goals so far this year and being touted as a future GB international due to his Scottish ancestry.
He will be around at least until the end of the 2021 season but by then will, hopefully, have helped Saints to more silverware.
The NRL club's loss is on course to be a massive gain for St Helens.